Hari Kuyo Rituals

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Funerary rites for inanimate objects, known as Kuyo, are commonplace in Japan. They are by far the most varied form of mortuary rites the country has. The format it takes differs greatly from the memorials for deceased people. Only the people who have an attachment to the item are involved in its Kuyo. While some Kuyos are performed for religious items most are for everyday items such as eyeglasses and tea whisks. Kuyos are performed by either setting up memorial stones or by holding a ceremony. Ceremonies take a Buddhist form. Priests perform the ceremony, incense is burned and sutras are chanted. However they can also be held in a Shinto shrine with a Shinto priest. They can also be held in a non sacred site but usually would have a priest…show more content…
It saw a decline after that point until its popularity peaked again in the twentieth century by the tailoring industry. It is observed by people who engage in needlework regularly, either as a profession or as a hobby. The event takes place each year on the eight of February and the eight of December. Hari Kuyo can also be performed privately by sticking the old needles in tofu to ensure their last task is an easy one. Safety while sewing is also prayed for during Hari Kuyo as well as advancement of skills. Traditionally, no needlework was done on the day of Hari Kuyo. In the past there were vast variations of Hari Kuyo depending on the region. Needles were often set afloat on a river or at sea after they had been placed on the bed of tofu or another soft substance. It is believed that needles were disposed of as soon as they became unusable to ensure they did not become lost and hurt somebody. Usually, if there was no temple nearby the needle was disposed of according to a local custom. The ritual has become much more public and standardized due to the involvement of professional textile organisations and media attention. It has even extended to needles used for acupuncture, for tattooing and for making tatami mats. Syringe needles were also included but the practise was stopped due to fear of infection. Many nurses still perform Hari Kuyo…show more content…
However, the soul of an object is different form the human soul therefore it cannot be fully recognised or understood. However, many do not believe his is the reason behind Kuyo instead believing the soul of the object is actually he manifestation of the persons attachment. What is released at the memorial is not an intrinsic soul but rather the part of the human soul that has become attached to it. Another reason for Kuyo can also be the belief that the spirits of objects can take the form of ghosts and place curses on them. The Kuyo ceremonies pacifies the spirit to prevent this from happening. The ceremonies also allow people to express gratitude to their possessions. The event is sometimes known as Kanshasai meaning thanksgiving festival. Mortuary rites for inanimate objects are often related to the Japanese Buddhist idea of Somoku Jobutsu which is the idea that plants and trees can reach Buddhahood. However, Kuyo for plants ae very rare in Japan but Kuyo for inanimate objects are very common. This could suggest that Kuyo rites are less about the belief in an intrinsic soul in the object but rather the human attachment to

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